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Archive for the ‘8 Weeks to Better Rhode Island Genealogy’ Category

Great news!  Ancestry.com has recently posted over 800 record sets related to Rhode Island probate.  They are listed at the bottom of this post.  There is so much more there than I thought; see the top of the list for instructions about finding each record set. 

Wills and probate

Wills and probate records can tell us about relationships in our ancestor’s lives that no other document can reveal. Cemetery markers, even if read and recorded long ago, can often be the only physical artifact left behind to tell us about a life.

Probate won’t reliably provide us with helpful lines such as “I give the land received from my honored father, Marmaduke Shipley, to …” But they reveal so much else. Often naming all surviving children, who may have the very grandparents’ names we are seeking. Or showing us the choice of Administrator or Guardians of minor children; were those significant people known to us? Evidence of economic status can help us in building a case for a certain father as opposed to another by the same name.  And don’t get me started on the probate records of childless adults – they were often required to name every relative.

More than anything, it’s funny how the documents of the dead can bring them to life. Two aprons left to a daughter. An iron kettle. A chiming clock. A cow and calf. Or, in the case of my New England ancestors, 3 barrels of hard cider in the cellar. Add to that proximity in the cemetery to extended family members, or to the original family farm, and these are very important records for genealogists.

Asa Aldrich's 1818 will as recorded in Cumberland, R.I. probate.

Asa Aldrich’s 1818 will as recorded in Cumberland, R.I. probate.

All probate records were kept by the town, although be careful about shifting town identities.  A huge set of these records is now available online through a paid account on Ancestry.com (see bottom of this post). Otherwise, to see the probate records you need, a visit to the town hall may be necessary. Each town hall usually has staff devoted to probate records, to take care of the current probate business, and they can help you find the old records.

In some cases, microfilm copies may be necessary if the files you need are not online or if you cannot get to a town hall. The Rhode Island Historical Society has a few town probate records (try the card catalog before leaving home), also the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. Microfilm for most towns can now be viewed at the local FamilySearch Center but using their computers for digital access.

There are some index/abstracts published in a few places.

  • Volume 16 (Rhode Island Will Book) of The Rhode Island Genealogical Register by Alden Beaman and Nellie M. C. Beaman (Princeton, Mass: periodical volumes 1 – 20 published 1978-1998). Out of print and protected by copyright (so, not online), the books are available in most local library collections that cover genealogy. Volume 16 is an index of town probate abstracts covered in volumes 1 – 15 of the periodical. A few other probate abstracts also appear in later volumes. The abstracts themselves are not perfect but this is certainly a useful guide for locating the probate records mentioned. But of course the set of abstracts is very far from complete for the state.
  • An index of Providence probate records is in the book Index to the Probate records of the Municipal court of the city of Providence, Rhode Island from 1646 To and Including the Year 1899 by Edward Field, Providence: 1902.  This data is also available online through NEHGS membership at their website, americanancestors.org, and its available on Ancestry.com.

Quick tip:  Since probate usually was processed over a period of time, there is often more than one entry in the town probate books. Check for additional records. Also, different parts of probate may have been saved separately – for instance, wills, inventories or guardianship papers may have their own volumes.

Family Search.org has a miscellaneous collection of Rhode Island probate records.  To find them, go to SEARCH –> CATALOG, and use Place = “United States, Rhode Island,” subject = “Probate,” Search these Family History Centers = “Online.”   Then drill down to the exact location using the “PART OF UNITED STATE, RHODE ISLAND, PROVIDENCE” link to go to Providence County, the use “Places within …” to find the town of your choice.  Clicking around will bring up any of the counties, and from there, the towns.

Quick tip:  Don’t assume that because there is a probate record for your ancestor, the death must have been recorded in the town records.  Sometimes, probate is the only record of a death. And sometimes, a death was recorded but there were no probate activities.

Of course there are many other records associated with more recent deaths – I notice Ancestry.com has a growing collection of Funeral Home records.  Obituaries will be covered later, with newspapers.

Ballou Cemetery, Cumberland.

Ballou Cemetery, Cumberland.

Cemeteries

Rhode Island has many, many tiny old cemeteries.  Early on, with no central church to manage burials, families tended to use a spot on their own property for a private cemetery.  Later, more formal, locally managed cemeteries were created, and sometime, older burials were moved to newer cemeteries, so don’t let the date of establishment of a cemetery fool you.  As land use changed and towns expanded, conditions were not ideal for protection and care of these small cemeteries, so those seeking out these graves today sometimes have difficult conditions to grapple with.

Over the years, and today, there were many dedicated individuals recording and caring for small cemeteries.  Sometimes, those early recordings have become the only record of markers now fallen and buried.

  • The Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Commission is my first stop for research.  A significant portion of the excellent work done over the last century and a half has been combined into their records.  If a picture is available, that will be indicated.
The same William Hardman who died in 1870. R.I. Historical Cemetery Database is telling me that he is buried in PV005 - Grace Church Cemetery.

William Hardman died in 1870. R.I. Historical Cemetery Database is telling me that he is buried in PV005 – Grace Church Cemetery.

  • Since many old Episcopal Church records are available at the archives of the University of Rhode Island Library, I already knew that William Hardman was at Grace Church Cemetery – I was able to use the card index there and see the map of his plot.
  • The Rhode Island Genealogical Society has published several thorough books on local cemeteries.  See a complete list, and some EXCELLENT ADVICE FROM AN EXPERT, here.
  • Find A Grave is another site worth searching, and would be a good place to record your own discoveries and pictures.

Rhode Island probate records on Ancestry.com

Widow Margaret Hardman served as administrator of her husband William's estate in 1870. I like how the bottom navigation bar shows me which record set I'm on. The actual will was signed with a shaky hand on August 12, 1870, the day of Williams death.

Widow Margaret Hardman served as administrator of her husband William’s estate in 1870. I like how the bottom navigation bar shows me which file I’m on. The actual will was signed with a shaky hand on August 12, 1870, the day of William’s death.

You could search the set by name (see Randy Seaver’s recent post about indexing and other problems with the Massachusetts set). But if you want to access specific books to check for yourself, Ancestry makes it cumbersome but it is possible. All record sets are filed alphabetically BY COUNTY – but Rhode Island probate is kept by town.  The titles never include the name of the town, so, I have gone through each county and sorted the titles into the proper town. I doubt my list of over 800 record sets is perfect, and the titles themselves may have issues, but the list is below.  I built it for myself because I can’t think of any other way to access these records.

Rhode Island, Wills and Probate Records, 1582-1932. Choose the county then look for the exact title.

Rhode Island, Wills and Probate Records, 1582-1932. Choose the county then look for the exact title.

First, find the titles you are interested in, below. Then go to Rhode Island, Wills and Probate Records, 1582-1932. Find on the screen the “Browse this collection” link in the side column.  Choose a county.  Then all record books for the county will appear in the drop down menu (Providence county takes a while to come up – be patient).  Knowing, from the list below, the exact title you might want, you just look for that title and select it. Be careful because some of the titles are VERY similar.  Good luck!

A three-minute VIDEO walking you through how to locate the Ancestry.com records is available HERE. Be sure to click the blue button with the triangle to start the video.  And don’t forget to come back!

BRISTOL COUNTY [All titles below will be found in a single list for Bristol County – this list helps you find the title you want.]

Barrington

  • Deed Records, Vol 13, 1882-1890; Vol 14, 1890-1891
  • Probate Index, Abatantuono, Ann-McCabe, Ann M,
  • Probate Index, McCabe, Ann M-Zukowski, William Joseph
  • Probate Records, Docket 1-7, 1874-1923
  • Town Council and Probate Records, Vol 1-4, 1830-1869
  • Town Council Records, Vol 1-4, 1770-1891

Bristol

  • Administration and Testamentary Letters, 1810-1871
  • Administrator Accounts, Vol 11-12, 1899-1920; Letters of Administrator, Vol 7-8, 1901-1917
  • Administrators Accounts, 1811-1852
  • Administrators Accounts, 1852-1870
  • Administrators Accounts, 1870-1877
  • Deeds, Wills, Inventories, Administrations, Grand Deeds and Grand Articles, 1680-1808
  • Estate Deeds, Vol 5, 1909-1917; Warrants, Vol 1, 1896-1916; Admin Account, Vol 11, 1892-1899; Etc
  • Inventories, Vol 1-4, 1811-1867
  • Letters of Administration, Vol 5, 1870-1906
  • Original Land Records, 1690-1703, 1886
  • Probate and Town Records, Vol 2-3, 1760-1825
  • Probate and Town Records, Vol 4, 1825-1838
  • Probate Bonds, 1817-1890 Probate Bonds, 1858-1885
  • Probate Index, Dixon, Ezra-Morris, Harriet P
  • Probate Index, Morris, Harriet P-Zych, John
  • Probate Records, Vol 6-8, 1855-1877
  • Wills, Inventories, 1746-1793
  • Wills, Inventories, 1746-1845
  • Wills, Inventories, 1845-1881

Warren

  • Accounts, 1832-1876; Commissioners Reports of Claims, 1843-1913
  • Accounts, Vol 11, 1878-1891; Vol 12, 1891-1912; Vol 13, 1912-1947
  • Bonds and Letters Testamentary, 1811-1836
  • Bonds, 1875-1892; Vol 3, 1892-1905; Vol 4, 1906-1917
  • Index to Vol 2-3 of Probate Proceedings, 1808-1851; Probate Proceedings, Vol 2, 1808-1839
  • Letters of Guardianship, 1840-1900; Letters and Bonds to Return Inventory, 1823-1839
  • Probate Index, Vol A-H, 1746-1859 Probate Index, Vol H-Z, 1746-1859
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 7-8, 1868-1879
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 9, 1825-1833; Probate Proceedings, 1819-1828, 1833-1839
  • Probate Records, Vol 12, 1892-1906; Vol 13, 1897-1904; Vol 14, 1904-1909; Vol 15, 1909-1914
  • Probate Records, Vol 14, 1903-1908; Vol 15, 1908-1911; Vol 16, 1911-1914; Vol 17, 1914-1916
  • Probate Records, Vol 17, 1916-1918
  • Wills and Inventories, Vol 1-2, 1746-1808 Wills and Inventories, Vol 3-4, 1806-1893
  • Wills, Vol 9, 1880-1890; Vol 10, 1902-1918

KENT COUNTY [All titles below will be found in a single list for Kent County – this list helps you find the title you want.]

Coventry

  • Probate Records, 1764-1824
  • Probate records, 1825-1841
  • Probate Records, 1841-1871
  • Probate Records, 1856-1932
  • Probate Records, 1869-1878
  • Probate records, v.10, 1878-1883
  • Probate Records, Vol 11-13, 1883-1906
  • Probate Records, Vol 14-15, 1906-1922

East Greenwich

  • Probate Files, 1-87, Adams-Brayton, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 88-178, Briggs-Congdon, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 179-243, Congdon-Freeborn, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 244-320, Freeborn-Hawkins, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 320-394, Hawkins-Kelly, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 394-447, Kelly-Mawney, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 447-524, Mawney-Pitcher, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 525-611, Pitcher-Spencer, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 612-695, Spencer-Wells, Early to 1885
  • Probate Files, 695-725, Wells-Wood, Early to 1885
  • Probate Index, Abar-Tortolani, 1872-2002
  • Probate Index, Tortolani-Zubee, 1872-2002
  • Probate Records, Vol 4-5, 1784-1819
  • Probate Records, Vol 6-7, 1819-1850
  • Probate Records, Vol 8, 1847-1875
  • Probate Records, Vol 9, 1875-1891
  • Town Council Records, 1865-1873

Warwick

  • Guardianship, 1896-1923 Testamentary, 1856-1891 Testamentary, 1891-1909 Testamentary, 1909-1931
  • Miscellaneous, 1839-1856; Administration, 1856-1932; Guardianship, 1856-1896
  • Probate Bonds, Vol 1, 1873-1889; Vol 2, 1885-1897; Vol 3, 1897-1905
  • Probate Bonds, Vol 4, 1895-1903; Vol 5, 1903-1908; Vol 6, 1908-1915
  • Probate Bonds, Vol 7, 1915-1921
  • Probate Docket Books, 1839-1925
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 13, 1907-1912; Vol 14, 1912-1918, 1947, 1955; Vol 15, 1918-1924, 1953
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 16, 1924-1938; Vol 17, 1925-1928; Vol 18, 1925-1934
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 19, 1918-1928; Vol 20, 1928-1930; Vol 21, 1928-1931
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 21, 1929-1931; Vol 22, 1929-1930; Vol 23, 1930-1931
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 8, 1876-1880; Vol 9, 1880-1881; Vol 10, 1882-1894
  • Town Council Records 1853-1877
  • Town Council Records Vol 1, 1742-1770
  • Town Council Records, Vol 3, 1804-1822
  • Town Council Records, Vol 7, 1870-1879
  • Wills and Probate Proceedings, 1804-1820
  • Wills and Probate Proceedings, 1820-1839
  • Wills and Probate Proceedings, 1839-1861
  • Wills and Probate Proceedings, 1861-1869
  • Wills and Probate Proceedings, 1869-1876
  • Wills, Vol 1, 1703-1745
  • Wills, Vol 2-4, 1745-1797
  • Wills, Vol 5-6, 1797-1816
  • Wills, Vol 7-8, 1816-1831
  • Wills, Vol 9-10, 1831-1847
  • Wills, Vol 11-12, 1845-1859
  • Wills, Vol 13-14, 1859-1868
  • Wills, Vol 15-16, 1868-1879
  • Wills, Vol 17-19, 1879-1898
  • Wills, Vol 20-22, 1898-1909
  • Wills, Vol 23-24, 1909-1917, 1953

West Greenwich

  • Wills, vol 6-10, 1822-1890

West Warwick

  • Docket 1913-1923; wills 1913-1919; bonds 1913-1919; letters of administration 1913-1923
  • Testamentary Letters, 1914-1923; Guardianship Letters, 1913-1923; Probate Proceedings, 1913-1924

NEWPORT COUNTY [All titles below will be found in a single list for Newport County – this list helps you find the title you want.]

Jamestown

  • Index to Land Evidence Records, Vol 1-14, 1680-1903
  • Probate Files, Carr, Isaac-Larkin, Eliz B
  • Probate Records, Vol 6-9, 1887-1915
  • Town Council and Probate Records and Index, Vol 2-4, 1767- 1874
  • Town Records, 1744-1796; Town Council Records, 1746-1766; Index

Little Compton

  • Town Council and Probate Records, Vol 1-2, 1746-1781
  • Town Council and Probate Records, Vol 8, 1832-1841; Probate Records, Vol 9-10, 1841-1854
    Vols. 14-15 (1900-1915)

Middletown

  • Books, Vol 12, 1894-1902; Vol 13, 1902-1908; Vol 14, 1908-1910
  • Cemetery Records; Wills, Early-1800; Wills, 1745-1894; Deaths and Marriages
  • Court Records, 1751-1785, 1813-1833
  • Docket 1, 1896-1936
  • Town Council Records, Vol 3-5, 1793-1838
  • Town Council Records, Vol 6-8, 1838-1879

Newport

  • General Probate Index, Vol A-B, 1779-1973
  • General Probate Index, Vol C-H, 1779-1973
  • General Probate Index, Vol I-R, 1779-1973
  • General Probate Index, Vol S-Z, 1779-1973
  • Index to Town Council Records
  • Index to Wills
  • Land Evidence Records, Vol 48-49, 1878-1880
  • Miscellaneous Records, 1701-1776
  • Probate Index, Aaron, Harry Solomon-Brown, Sophia Augusta
  • Probate Index, Abate, Salvatore A-Richmond, Henry I
  • Probate Index, Brown, Sophia Augusta-Crosby, Sarah C
  • Probate Index, Crosby, Sarah C-Francis, Hariet H
  • Probate Index, Francis, Harriet H-Hobbs, Caroline M
  • Probate Index, Hobbs, Caroline M-Limmer, Edward F
  • Probate Index, Limmer, Edward F-Mullaney, Johanna
  • Probate Index, Mullaney, Johanna-Ray, John Lewis
  • Probate Index, Ray, John Lewis-Sousa, Telma Garcia
  • Probate Index, Richmond, Henry I-Yetman, Walter Minor
  • Probate Index, Sousa, Telma Garcia-Virgadamo, Lucia G
  • Probate Index, Virgadamo, Lucia G-Zuill, Elizabeth W
  • Probate Records, Vol 10-11, 1834-1838
  • Probate Records, Vol 11, 1854-1876; Town Council Records, Vol 3, 1841-1880
  • Probate Records, Vol 12-13, 1838-1844
  • Probate Records, Vol 1-3, 1779-1802
  • Probate Records, Vol 19, 1858-1859
  • Probate Records, Vol 20-21, 1859-1863
  • Probate Records, Vol 22, 1862-1865
  • Probate Records, Vol 23-24, 1864-1867
  • Probate Records, Vol 28-29, 1872-1875
  • Probate records, vol 30, 1877
  • Probate Records, Vol 31-33, 1877-1880
  • Probate Records, Vol 41-43, 1887-1890
  • Probate Records, Vol 4-5, 1802-1819
  • Probate Records, Vol 48-50, 1894-1896
  • Probate Records, Vol 52-55, 1898-1900
  • Probate records, vol 55-57, 1900-1902
  • Probate Records, Vol 60-62, 1904-1906
  • Probate Records, Vol 62-64, 1906-1908
  • Probate Records, Vol 71-73, 1913-1915
  • Probate Records, Vol 8-9, 1818-1834
  • Town Council Records, Vol 12-16, 1756-1771
  • Town Council Records, Vol 1-3, 1702-1719
  • Town Council Records, Vol 17-18, 1702-1776
  • Town Council Records, Vol 4-7, 1714-1735
  • Town Council Records, Vol 8-11, 1735-1755

Portsmouth

  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 6-9, 1764-1822
  • Probate Bonds, 1829-1926
  • Probate Bonds, 1869-1926
  • Probate Index Cards, A-Z, 1700-1996
  • Probate Records, Vol 2-5, 1834-1868
  • Probate Records, Vol 6, 1845-1880
  • Town Council Records, Vol 10, 1822-1862
  • Town Council Records, Vol 13-15, 1893-1930

Tiverton

  • Appointment Book of Administrators, Borden, Benajah-End, 1830-1844; Vol 11-14, 1832-1876
  • Land Records, Vol 27, 1877-1879
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 2 and 4, 1747-1792
  • Probate Index, 1700-1902
  • Probate Records, Vol 13-14a, 1848-1866
  • Probate Records, Vol 14, 1866-1876
  • Probate Records, Vol 14-15, 1844-1850
  • Probate Records, Vol 15, 1876-1883
  • Probate Records, Vol 16, 1884-1890; Vol 17, 1890-1896; Vol 18, 1896-1902
  • Probate records, vol 2 and 4, 1747-1792; town council probate, 1776-1789; vol 5-6, 1792-1814
  • Town Council Records, Vol 1-4, 1776-1903
  • Town Council Records, Vol 5-6, 1903-1929
  • Town Meetings and Probate Records, 1776-1789; Town Meetings, 1804-1889

MISC:

  • A Book of Records For the Proprietors of the Lands Containing the Names of the First Proprietors
    Durfee and Stafford Genealogy and Allied Lines from 1600

PROVIDENCE COUNTY  [All titles below will be found in a single list for Providence County – this list helps you find the title you want.]

Burrillville

  • Administration Letters, Vol 1, 1907-1916; Warrants, Vol 1, 1896-1906; Bonds, Vol 1-2, 1873-1916
  • Letters of Guardianship, Administration, Testamentary, 1862-1917; Probate Bonds, 1873-1898
  • Probate Docket, Vol 1-2, 1900-1956; Wills, Vol 6, 1891-1916; Admin Letters, Vol 1, 1862-1907
  • Probate Journals Vol 1-3, 1806-1883
  • Probate Journals, Vol 4-6, 1883-1918; Probate Docket, Vol 1, 1896-1900
  • Probate Records, Vol 3-4, 1842-1871
  • Probate Records, Vol 5, 1871-1891
  • Town Meeting Records, 1806-1881

Cranston

  • Bonds to Probate Court, Vol 1, 1873-1892; Probate Index
  • Estate Files, 1064-1404
  • Estate Files, 1-372
  • Estate Files, 1405-1685
  • Estate Files, 1686-2074
  • Estate Files, 2075-2656
  • Estate Files, 2657-3090
  • Estate Files, 3096-3421
  • Estate Files, 3422-3687
  • Estate Files, 374-645
  • Estate Files, 648-1064
  • Inventories, 19, 1890-1899; 21, 1898-1905; 29, 1906-1911; 35, 1910-1913
  • Inventories, Reports, Accounts, Vol 16, 1873-1888; Wills, Vol 17, 1875-1894
  • Inventory, Accounts, Etc, Vol 10, 1849-1862; Admin and Guardianship Letters, Vol 11, 1849-1869
  • Letters of Administrator and Guardianship, Vol 14, 1867- 1892; Vol 15, 1873- 1887
  • Letters, 20, 1899-1919; Testamentary, 22, 1892-1915; Misc Bonds, 23-24, 1892-1914; 2, 1888-1896
  • Probate Bonds, 2 and 27, 1893-1923; Probate Bonds, 31 and 33, 1904-1919; Will, 25, 1892-1895
  • Probate Index, Aaronian, Evelyn H-Burton, Joseph
  • Probate Index, Burton, Joseph-Deluca, Giovanni
  • Probate Index, Deluca, Giovanni-Gill, William C
  • Probate Index, Gill, William C-Karnegie, Benjamin
  • Probate Index, Karnegie, Benjamin-McCann, Irene
  • Probate Index, McCann, Irene-Peterson, Annie
  • Probate Index, Peterson, Annie-Shaw, Harriet
  • Probate Index, Shaw, Harriet-Walton, Thomas
  • Probate Index, Walton, Thomas-Zwoden, Arden; Hildebrant, Katharine M; Hulton, Chester
  • Probate Records, Vol 12, 1861-1873; Inventories, Reports, Accounts, Vol 13, 1863-1874
  • Probate Records, Vol 1-4,1798-1832
  • Probate Records, Vol 5-7, 1832-1849
  • Probate Records, Vol 8, 1849-1861; Wills, Vol 9, 1849-1875
  • Records of Will, 25, 1895-1908; Records of Will, 32, 1908-1916
  • Town Council Records, 1754-1793
  • Town Council Records, 1854-1865
  • Town Council Records, 1865-1877

Cumberland

  • Letters, 1895-1925; Wills, 1905-1919; Probate Docket Book, Vol 1-2, 1896-1924
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, 1874-1923
  • Probate Records, Vol 21-23, 1856-1866
  • Probate Records, Vol 24-25, 1866-1877
  • Probate Records, Vol 26-27, 1877-1885
  • Probate Records, Vol 28-30, 1885-1891
  • Probate Records, Vol 31-34, 1894-1916
  • Probate Records, Vol 6-10, 1784-1815

East Providence

  • Assignment of Wages, Vol 1-2, 1885-1939; Inventories, Vol 3-4, 1889-1906
  • Deed Records, Vol 1, 1862-1879; Vol 2, 1879-1896
  • Letters, Vol 2-4, 1882-1923; Vol 1-2, 1862-1935; Vol 3-4, 1896-1916; Wage Assignment, Vol 1, 1885
  • Probate Bonds, Vol 3-5, 1894-1941; Probate Warrants, Vol 1-2, 1899-1917
  • Probate Court Bonds, 1873-1885
  • Probate Court Journal; Letters of Guardianship, 1862-1892
  • Probate Docket, Vol 1-3, 1896-1920; Probate Journal, Vol 3-4, 1892-1901
  • Probate Index, Abajian, Charles-Cooke, Charlotte, 1862-1998
  • Probate Index, Cooke, Charlotte-Harrington, Francis 1862-1998
  • Probate Index, Harrington, Francis-McGuigan, Matthew, 1862-1998
  • Probate Index, McGuigan, Matthew-Rose, Adelaide G, 1862-1998
  • Probate Index, Rose, Adelaide G-Zwolinski, Florence 1862-1998
  • Probate Journal, Vol 4, 1901-1904; Vol 5, 1904-1910; Vol 6, 1910-1915; Vol 7, 1915-1919
  • Probate Wills, Vol 2-3, 1894-1917; Probate Bonds, Vol 2-3, 1885-1897
  • Wills and Letters Testamentary, 1862-1894

Foster

  • Deeds, Vol 17-19, 1893-1900
  • Foster Historical Cemeteries
  • Probate Records, Vol 10, 1864-1873
  • Probate Records, Vol 1-2, 1781-1814
  • Probate Records, Vol 12-14,1888-1915
  • Probate Records, Vol 3-4, 1814-1826
  • Probate Records, Vol 5-6, 1826-1836
  • Probate Records, Vol 7-9, 1836-1864

Gloucester

  • Town Council Records, 1731-1892

Johnston

  • Executor, Administrations, Guardianship Records, 1826-1898
  • Letters of Administration, Wills, Inventories, Etc, 1840-1882
  • Probate Records, Minute Books, Inventories, and Commissioners Reports, 1871-1898
  • Town Council Meeting Records, 1772-1817
  • Wills, Inventories, Etc, 1759-1817
  • Wills, Inventories, Etc, 1798-1852
  • Wills, Inventories, Etc, 1821-1870
  • Wills, Inventories, Etc, 1882-1898
  • Wills, Inventories, Letters of Administration, Etc, 1871-1889

Lincoln

  • Probate docket and index, 1895-1915; Wills and index, 1895-1915; Inventories, 1895-1915
  • Probate Mtgs, Vol 1, 1895-1915; Admin Bonds, Vol 2 and 4, 1895-1915; Testamentary, Vol 3, 1895-1915
  • Probate Records, Vol 18-21, 1890-1896
  • Probate Records, Vol 25-27, 1902-1904, 1904-1907, 1907-1909
  • Probate Records, Vol 28-30, 1909-1912, 1912-1913, 1914-1917

North Providence see Pawtucket

North Smithfield

  • Deed Index and Records, Vol 11, 1894-1901; Vol 12, 1894-1901; Vol 13, 1896-1900; Vol 15, 1897-1900
  • Probate Index, Greene, Marion Da-Zygmunt, Joseph

Pawtucket or North Providence  (these records are for one or the other; it was hard to distinguish)

  • Administrators Bonds, 1873-1889
  • Appraisers Warrants and Record of Accounts, 1873-1890
  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 1-4, 1799-1855
  • Council and Probate Records, Vol A-C, 1765-1828
  • Council Records, Vol 9-11, 1855-1874
  • Executors Bonds to Return Inventory, 1873- 1907
  • Guardianship Bonds, 1873-1905
  • Husbands, Guardians, Administrators, Other Probate Bonds, 1873-1905
  • Index to Probate Records, 1765-1874; Index to Council Records, 1765-1874
  • Letters Testamentary, 1873-1883; Probate Bonds, 1872-1874
  • Probate Docket, Vol 1, 1-2176, 1896; Vol 2, 3617-4737, 1898-1906; Vol 3, 4738-5713, 1906-1912
  • Probate Docket, Vol 12, 1895-1896; Vol 13, 1896-1897; Vol 14, 1897-1899
  • Probate Docket, Vol 15, 1896-1903; Vol 16, 1899-1905
  • Probate Docket, Vol 17, 1899-1900; Vol 18, 1900-1901; Vol 19, 1902-1903
  • Probate Docket, Vol 22, 1905-1906; Vol 23, 1906-1906; Vol 24, 1906-1908
  • Probate Docket, Vol 29, 1910; Vol 30, 1910-1911; Vol 31, 1911; Vol 32, 1912
  • Probate Docket, Vol 33, 1912-1913; Vol 34, 1913; Vol 35, 1913-1914; Vol 36, 1914
  • Probate Docket, Vol 37, 1914-1915; Vol 38, 1915; Vol 39, 1915-1916
  • Probate Docket, Vol 4, 1877-1880; Vol 5, 1880-1883
  • Probate Docket, Vol 4, 5714-6791, 1912-1926
  • Probate Docket, Vol 9, 1889-1891; Vol 10, 1891-1893; Vol 11, 1893-1895
  • Probate Files, 1, 5-85
  • Probate Files, 1079-1185,
  • Probate Files, 1185-1230,
  • Probate Files, 1230-1256,
  • Probate Files, 1256-1365,
  • Probate Files, 1365-1471,
  • Probate Files, 144 (2)-198,
  • Probate Files, 1471-1570,
  • Probate Files, 1570-1655,
  • Probate Files, 1655-1733,
  • Probate Files, 1733-1811,
  • Probate Files, 1811-1887
  • Probate Files, 1887-1973
  • Probate Files, 1973-2070
  • Probate Files, 198-281,
  • Probate Files, 2071-2147
  • Probate Files, 2148-2207
  • Probate Files, 2208
  • Probate Files, 281-371,
  • Probate Files, 371-457,
  • Probate Files, 458-544,
  • Probate Files, 544-639
  • Probate Files, 640-725
  • Probate Files, 726-858
  • Probate Files, 85-144 (1)
  • Probate Files, 858-973
  • Probate Files, 973-1079
  • Probate Records Index, A-Camoes, Mary
  • Probate Records Index, Camp-Fitzsimons, Wam
  • Probate Records Index, Fl-Gizelsky, A
  • Probate Records Index, Li-Pakuris, Nicholas
  • Probate Records Index, Pal-Tavernier, Kevin
  • Probate Records Index, Tay-Z
  • Probate Records, 1862-1877
  • Probate Records, Vol 11-12, 1865-1871
  • Probate Records, Vol 13-14, 1870-1874
  • Probate Records, Vol 9-10, 1855-1865
  • Record of Wills, Vol 1-2, 1870-1897
  • Record of Wills, Vol A31, 1897-1902

Providence

  • Administration Accounts, 10, 1843-1848; 11, 1849-1851; 12, 1851-1854
  • Administration Accounts, 14, 1856-1858; 13, 1854-1856; 15, 1858-1860
  • Administration Accounts, 16, 1860-1862; 17, 1862-1864; 18, 1864-1866
  • Administration Accounts, 19, 1866-1868; 20, 1868-1869; 21, 1869-1872
  • Administration Accounts, 22, 1872-1874; 23, 1874-1876; 24, 1876-1878
  • Administration Accounts, 26, 1880-1882; 25, 1878-1880; 27, 1882-1884
  • Administration Accounts, 28, 1884-1890; 29, 1891-1895; 30, 1896-1899
  • Administration Accounts, 4, 1832-1835; 5, 1835-1837; 6, 1837-1839
  • Administration Accounts, 7, 1839-1841; 8, 1841-1843; 9, 1842-1846
  • Administrators Records, 1898-1899
  • Commissioners Probate Reports, Vol 1-3, 1820-1878; Miscellaneous Commissioner Reports, 1898-1899
  • Index to Probate Records, 1646-1899 [copy of a printed book]
  • Indexes to Wills, Vol O, 1872-1886; Vol 1, 1886-1897; Vol 2, 1901-1906; Vol 3, 1905-1914
  • Indian deeds, 1659-1662
  • Letters of Administration and Guardianship, 1804-1840
  • Letters of Guardianship, 1840-1864
  • Letters of Guardianship, 1864-1889
  • Letters of Guardianship, 1889-1898
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 10-12, 1872-1897
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 13-15, 1873-1898
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 1-5, 1873-1898
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 16-19, 1873-1899
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 20-22, 1873-1893
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 23-26, 1873-1899
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 28-30, 1890-1899
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 31-38, 1893-1899
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 39-41, 1896-1899
  • Miscellaneous Bonds, Vol 6-9, 1872-1897
  • Miscellaneous Files, A4802, 1823-1888
  • Miscellaneous Guardians, 1898-1899
  • Probate Docket Books, Vol 35-37, 12001-14450, 1909-1912
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 15-18, 12426-15149, 1879-1886
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 19-21, a15150-A17754, 1886-1891
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 22, a17755-A18992, 1703-1883; Vol 23-24, 1-2000, 1891-1894
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 25-27, 2001-5000, 1894-1899
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 28-30, 5001-8000, 1899-1903
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 31-33, 8001-11000, 1903-1907
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 34, 11001-12000 1907-1909
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 37-39, 14450-17000, 1912-1915
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 40-42, 17001-18500, 1915-1916
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 43-44, 18501-19500, 1917-1918; Vol 45, 19501-2000, 1918-1919
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 46-48, 20001-21500, 1919-1920
  • Probate Dockets of Estates, Vol 49, 21501-22000, 1920-1921
  • Probate Dockets, Vol 10-12, 9103-11078
  • Probate Dockets, Vol 1-3, 1-4596
  • Probate Dockets, Vol 13-14, 11079-12425
  • Probate Dockets, Vol 4-6, 4597-6902
  • Probate Dockets, Vol 7-9, 6903-9102
  • Probate Files, A1-A484, 1646-1885
  • Probate Files, A485-A881, 1646-1885
  • Probate Files, A882-A1200, 1769-1785, 1898
  • Probate files, A1040, A1403, A1416, 1779-1788; A1455-A1583, 1794-1797
  • Probate Files, A1201-A1454, 1785-1794
  • Probate Files, A1584-A1630, 1797-1799
  • Probate Files, A1680-A1730, 1799
  • Probate Files, A1680-A1730, 1799-1800
  • Probate Files, A1888-A1981, 1800-1812Probate Files, A1982-A2058, 1897-1899
  • Probate Files, A2058-A2132
  • Probate Files, A2133-A2330, 1826-1850
  • Probate Files, A2330-A2440, 1850-1855
  • Probate Files, A2441-A2541, 1854-1861
  • Probate Files, A2542-A2663, 1861-1876
  • Probate Files, A2664-A2788, 1867-1874
  • Probate files, A2789-A2912, 1874-1877
  • Probate Files, A2913-A3046, 1880-1885
  • Probate Files, A3047-A3182, 1885-1890
  • Probate Files, A3183-A3350, 1890-1894
  • Probate Files, A3351-A3544, 1894-1888
  • Probate files, A3545-A3691, 1888-1804
  • Probate files, A3692-A3850, 1804-1808
  • Probate Files, A3851-A3971, 1809-1886
  • Probate Files, A3972-A4102, 1809-1810
  • Probate Files, A4103-A4200, 1814
  • Probate files, A4201-A4309, 1815-1816
  • Probate Files, A4310-A4411, 1816-1817
  • Probate Files, A4412-A4498, 1818
  • Probate Files, A4499-A4593, 1819-1823
  • Probate Files, A4594-A4717, 1820-1822
  • Probate Files, A4718-A4804, 1822-1826
  • Probate Files, A4805-A4889, 1826 4833
  • Probate Files, A4890-A4969, 1827-1828
  • Probate Files, A4969-A5047, 1826-1827
  • Probate Files, A5048-A5144, 1827-1828
  • Probate Files, A5145-A5229, 1828-1829
  • Probate Files, A5230-A5319, 1829-1831
  • Probate Files, A5320-A5385, 1831-1832
  • Probate Files, A5386-A5448, 1832
  • Probate Files, A5449-A5498, 1832-1835
  • Probate Files, A5499-A5551, 1835-1836
  • Probate Files, A5552-A5606, 1834-1836
  • Probate Files, A5606-A5660, 1836-1839
  • Probate Files, A5660-A5719, 1836-1839
  • Probate Files, A5720-A5776, 1836-1841
  • Probate Files, A5776-A5824, 1839-1841
  • Probate Files, A5824-A5872, 1839-1840
  • Probate Files, A5872-A5924, 1839
  • Probate Files, A5925-A5982, 1839-1845
  • Probate Files, A5982-A6035, 1840-1845
  • Probate Files, A6036-A6070, 1841-1842
  • Probate Files, A6071-A6123, 1841
  • Probate Files, A6124-A6168, 1841-1842
  • Probate Files, A6169-A6224, 1842-1843
  • Probate Files, A6224-A6274, 1843-1845
  • Probate Files, A6275-A6332, 1844
  • Probate Files, A6333-A6384, 1844-1845
  • Probate Files, A6385-A6441, 1845-1847
  • Probate Files, A6387-A6544, 1845-1847
  • Probate Files, A6441-A6486, 1846-1848
  • Probate Files, A6545-A6599, 1847
  • Probate Files, A6599-A6649, 1847-1848
  • Probate Files, A6650-A6699, 1847-1849
  • Probate Files, A6700-A6750, 1849-1850
  • Probate Files, A6751-A6777, 1849
  • Probate Files, A6778-A6825, 1850-1852
  • Probate Files, A6826-A6869, 1850-1852
  • Probate Files, A6870-A6908, 1850
  • Probate Files, A6909-A6948, 1850
  • Probate Files, A6949-A6988, 1851-1852
  • Probate Files, A6989-A7030, 1851-1852
  • Probate Files, A7031-A7060, 1852
  • Probate Files, A7061-A7105, 1855-1856
  • Probate files, A7106-A7149, 1852-1855
  • Probate Files, A7150-A7190, 1854-1861
  • Probate Files, A7191-A7236, 1854
  • Probate files, A7237-A7254, 1854
  • Probate Files, A7275-A7317, 1854
  • Probate Files, A7318-A7536, 1854-1855
  • Probate Files, A7357-A7400, 1855
  • Probate Files, A7401-A7450, 1855
  • Probate Files, A7451-A7494, 1855-1858
  • Probate Files, A7495-A7550, 1856
  • Probate files, A7551-A7597, 1856-1857
  • Probate Files, A7597-A7648, 1857-1865
  • Probate Files, A7649-A7690, 1857
  • Probate Files, A7691-A7738, 1857
  • Probate Files, A7738-A7787, 1857-1858
  • Probate Files, A7788-A7845, 1858
  • Probate Files, A7846-A7876, 1858-1859
  • Probate Files, A7877-A7910, 1858-1859
  • Probate Files, A7911-A7958, 1859
  • Probate Files, A7959-A7992, 1859
  • Probate Files, A7993-A8044, 1859-1861
  • Probate Files, A8045-A8092, 1860
  • Probate files, A8093-A8142, 1860
  • Probate Files, A8143-A8181, 1860-1861
  • Probate Files, A8182-A8232, 1861
  • Probate Files, A8233-A8289, 1861
  • Probate Files, A8290-A8322, 1861-1862
  • Probate Files, A8323-A8376, 1862
  • Probate Files, A8377-A8427, 1862-1867
  • Probate Files, A8428-A8467, 1863-1864
  • Probate Files, A8468-A8519, 1863-1864
  • Probate Files, A8520-A8579, 1863
  • Probate Files, A8580-A8642, 1863-1864
  • Probate Files, A8643-A8704, 1864
  • Probate Files, A8705-A8759, 1864
  • Probate Files, A8760-A8818, 1864-1865
  • Probate files, A8819-A8879, 1865
  • Probate Files, A8880-A8922, 1865
  • Probate files, A8923-A8984, 1865-1867
  • Probate Files, A8985-A9044, 1866
  • Probate Files, A9045-A9104, 1866
  • Probate Files, A9105-A9173, 1866
  • Probate Files, A9174-A9219, 1866
  • Probate Files, A9220-A9271, 1867
  • Probate files, A9272-A9325, 1867
  • Probate Files, A9326-A9386, 1868
  • Probate Files, A9387-A9409, 1868
  • Probate Files, A9420-A9479, 1868
  • Probate Files, A9480-A9438, 1868
  • Probate Files, A9539-A9605, 1868-1869
  • Probate Files, A9606-A9662, 1869
  • Probate Files, A9664-A9731, 1869
  • Probate Files, A9732-A9771, A9773-A9797, 1869
  • Probate Files, A9798-A9867, 1870
  • Probate Files, A9868-A9939, 1869
  • Probate Files, A9940-A10017, 1869
  • Probate Files, A10018-A10090, 1869
  • Probate Files, A10091-A10150, 1870
  • Probate Files, A10151-A10228, 1871
  • Probate Files, A10229-A10309, 1871
  • Probate Files, A10310-A10367, 1872
  • Probate Files, A10368-A10423, 1872
  • Probate Files, A10424-A10504, 1872
  • Probate Files, A10505-A10584, 1872
  • Probate Files, A10585-A10644, 1872
  • Probate Files, A10645-A10725, 1873
  • Probate Files, A10726-A10802, 1873
  • Probate Files, A10803-A10882, 1873
  • Probate Files, A10883-A10966, 1874
  • Probate Files, A10967-A11065, 1874
  • Probate Files, A11088-A11151, 1874-1875
  • Probate Files, A11152-A11233, 1875
  • Probate Files, A11234-A11329, 1875
  • Probate Files, A11330-A11415, 1875
  • Probate Files, A11416-A11508, 1876
  • Probate Files, A11509-A11590, 1876
  • Probate Files, A11591-A11679, 1877
  • Probate Files, A11680-A11768, 1877
  • Probate Files, A11769-A11853, 1877
  • Probate Files, A11854-A11932, 1877
  • Probate Files, A11933-A12004, 1877
  • Probate Files, A12005-A12100, 1877
  • Probate Files, A12101-A12175, 1877
  • Probate Files, A12176-A12270, 1878
  • Probate Files, A12271-A12351, 1878-1879
  • Probate Files, A12352-A12437, 1879
  • Probate Files, A12438-A12524, 1879
  • Probate Files, A12525-A12612, 1879
  • Probate Files, A12613-A12699, 1880
  • Probate Files, A12699-A12775, 1880
  • Probate Files, A12776-A12869, 1880-1881
  • Probate Files, A12870-A12946, 1881
  • Probate Files, A12947-A13017, 1881
  • Probate Files, A13018-A13094, 1881
  • Probate Files, A13095-A13170, 1882
  • Probate Files, A13171-A13254, 1882
  • Probate Files, A13255-A13331, 1882
  • Probate Files, A13331-A13423, 1882
  • Probate Files, A13424-A13515, 1882
  • Probate Files, A13516-A13593, 1883
  • Probate Files, A13594-A13673, 1883
  • Probate Files, A13674-A13766, 1883
  • Probate Files, A13767-A13842, 1883
  • Probate Files, A13843-A13929, 1883
  • Probate Files, A13930-A14016, 1883-1884
  • Probate Files, A14017-A14099, 1884
  • Probate Files, A14118-A14180, 1884
  • Probate Files, A14181-A14251, 1884
  • Probate Files, A14252-A14330, 1884-1885
  • Probate Files, A14331-A14417, 1885
  • Probate Files, A14418-A14501, 1885
  • Probate Files, A14502-A14569, 1885
  • Probate Files, A14570-A14657, 1885
  • Probate Files, A14658-A14760, 1885
  • Probate Files, A14761-A14843, 1886
  • Probate Files, A14843-A14933, 1886
  • Probate Files, A14934-A15017, 1886
  • Probate Files, A15018-A15104, 1886
  • Probate Files, A15105-A15196, 1886-1887
  • Probate Files, A15197-A15286, 1887
  • Probate Files, A15287-A15375, 1887
  • Probate Files, A15376-A15455, 1887
  • Probate Files, A15456-A15550, 1887
  • Probate Files, A15551-A15644, 1887
  • Probate Files, A15644-A15737, 1887
  • Probate Files, A15738-A15831, 1887-1888
  • Probate Files, A15832-A15920, 1888
  • Probate Files, A15921-A16008, 1888
  • Probate Files, A16009-A16090, 1888
  • Probate Files, A16091-A16174, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16175-A16276, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16277-A16387, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16388-A16478, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16480-A16575, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16576-A16661, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16662-A16735, 1889
  • Probate Files, A16736-A16821, 1890
  • Probate Files, A16798-A16865, 1890
  • Probate Files, A16865-A16927, 1890
  • Probate Files, A16927-A17006, 1890
  • Probate Files, A17006-A17078, 1890
  • Probate Files, A17078-A17146, 1890
  • Probate Files, A17146-A17224, 1890
  • Probate Files, A17224-A17304, 1890
  • Probate Files, A17304-A17377, 1890-1891
  • Probate Files, A1731-A1750, 1799-1800
  • Probate Files, A17377-A17461, 1890-1891
  • Probate Files, A17461-A17522, 1891
  • Probate Files, A1750-A1888, 1899
  • Probate Files, A17522-A17591, 1891
  • Probate Files, A17591-A17669, 1891
  • Probate Files, A17669-A17747, 1891
  • Probate Files, A17747-A18144, 1828-1848
  • Probate Files, A18144-A18433, 1839-1862
  • Probate Files, A18433-A18632, 1862-1875
  • Probate Files, A18632-A18867, 1875-1884
  • Probate Files, A18867-A19035, 1884-1899
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 1, 1819-1824; Vol 2, 1824-1828; Vol 3 1828-1834
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 12, 1857-1859; Vol 13, 1859-1862; Vol 14, 1862-1865
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 15, 1865-1867; Vol 16, 1867-1870; Vol 17, 1870-1873
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 18, 1873-1876; Vol 19, 1876-1878; Vol 20, 1878-1881
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 21, 1881-1883; Vol 22, 1883-1885; Vol 23, 1885-1888
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 24, 1888-1890; Vol 25, 1890-1893; Vol 26, 1893-1898
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 26-28, 1878-1882
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 27, 1892-1893; Vol 28, 1894-1896
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 29, 1896-1898; Vol 30, 1898-1899
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 29-31, 1882-1887
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 32-34, 1888-1891
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 35-37, 1891-1894
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 38-39, 1894-1896
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 4, 1834-1838; Vol 5, 1838-1841
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 40-41, 1896-1899
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 6, 1841-1844; Vol 7, 1844-1848; Vol 8, 1848-1850
  • Probate Inventories of Estates, Vol 9, 1850-1853; Vol 10, 1853-1855; Vol 11, 1855-1857
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 100, 1906-1908; Vol 101, 1885-1908; Vol 102, 1906-1908
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 103, 1908-1909; Vol 104, 1909; Vol 105, 1908-1909
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 109, 1910; Vol 110, 1910-1912; Vol 111, 1905-1911
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 11-12, 1845-1848
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 115, 1910-1911; Vol 116, 1911; Vol 117, 1911-1912
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 1-2, 1798-1817
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 121, 1907-1913; Vol 122, 1904-1913; Vol 123, 1911-1913
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 124, 1913; Vol 125, 1913-1914; Vol 126, 1913-1914
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 127, 1914; Vol 128, 1914-1915; Vol 129, 1903-1914
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 13, 1848-1850
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 130, 1914-1915; Vol 131, 1915; Vol 132, 1897-1915
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 133, 1915; Vol 134, 1915; Vol 135, 1915
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 136, 1914-1916; Vol 137, 1915; Vol 138, 1916
  • Probate proceedings, Vol 139, 1916; vol 140, 1916; vol 141, 1916
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 14-15, 1850-1853
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 142, 1916; Vol 143, 1916; Vol 144, 1916-1917
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 145, 1916-1917; Vol 146, 1916; Vol 147, 1917
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 148, 1917; Vol 149, 1917; Vol 150, 1917
  • Probate proceedings, Vol 151, 1917; vol 152, 1915-1917; vol 153, 1911-1918
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 154, 1914-1918; Vol 155, 1914-1918; Vol 156, 1916-1918
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 157, 1916-1918; Vol 158, 1918; Vol 159, 1915-1918
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 160, 1911-1919; Vol 161, 1919; Vol 162, 1919
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 16-17, 1853-1855
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 163, 1918; Vol 164, 1919; Vol 165, 1919
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 166, 1919-1920; Vol 167, 1919-1920; Vol 168, 1919-1920
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 18, 1855-1856
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 19-20, 1856-1858
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 21-22, 1858-1860
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 27-28, 1865-1868
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 29-30, 1868-1871
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 31-32, 1871-1874
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 33-34, 1874-1876
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 3-4, 1817-1828
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 35, 1876-1877; Vol 36, 1877; Vol 37, 1877-1878
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 41, 1882-1883; Vol 42, 1883-1884; Vol 43, 1884-1885
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 44, 1885-1886; Vol 45, 1886-1887; Vol 46, 1887
  • Probate proceedings, Vol 46, 1887-1888; vol 47, 1888-1889; vol 48, 1889
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 52, 1892-1892; Vol 53, 1892-1893; Vol 54, 1893
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 5-6, 1828-1836
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 61, 1897; Vol 62, 1897-1898; Vol 63, 1898
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 64, 1899; Vol 65, 1884-1899; Vol 66, 1892-1899
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 73, 1901; Vol 74, 1901; Vol 75, 1900-1902
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 7-8, 1836-1840
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 79, 1890-1903; Vol 80, 1903; Vol 81, 1903
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 82, 1903; Vol 83, 1903-1904; Vol 84, 1904
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 88, 1882-1994; Vol 89, 1902-1905; Vol 90, 1905
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 91, 1899-1905; Vol 92, 1905; Vol 93, 1906
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 9-10, 1840-1845
  • Probate Proceedings, Vol 97, 1903-1907; Vol 98, 1907; Vol 99, 1895-1907
  • Wills and Index, Vol 10-11 1805-1815
  • Wills and Index, Vol 12, 1815-1819
  • Wills and Index, Vol 13, 1819-1839
  • Wills and index, vol 14-15, 1836-1848
  • Wills and Index, Vol 16-17, 1848-1856
  • Wills and Index, Vol 18-19, 1856-1862
  • Wills and Index, Vol 20-21, 1861-1867
  • Wills and Index, Vol 22-23, 1867-1872
  • Wills and Index, Vol 24-25, 1872-1877
  • Wills and Index, Vol 3-4, 1726-1754
  • Wills and Index, Vol 5-6, 1754-1785
  • Wills and Index, Vol 7, 1785-1797
  • Wills and Index, Vol 8-9, 1796-1805

Scituate

  • Probate and Council Records, Vol 1-3, 1731-1799
  • Probate Records, Vol 13, 1905-1906; Vol 14, 1906-1912; Vol 15, 1913-1919
  • Probate Records, Vol 6, 1837-1848
  • Probate Records, Vol 9-10, 1865-1881
  • Town Council Records, Vol 5-6, 1820-1886

Smithfield

  • Abstracts Copied From Council and Probate Records 2
  • Council Journal, 1871-1877
  • Council Journal, Vol 5-6, 1822-1845
  • Probate Files, 1-99, 1871-1885
  • Probate Files, 99-171, 1871-1885
  • Probate Index, Abbatematteo, Kathleen Frances-Laposta, Maria, 1871-2003
  • Probate Index, Laposta, Maria-Zylinski, Mery, 1871-2003
  • Probate Records, Vol 11-12, 1859-1867
  • Probate Records, Vol 1-4, 1871-1912
  • Probate Records, Vol 2, 1749-1768
  • Probate Records, Vol 2, 1769-1797
  • Probate Records, Vol 3-4, 1791-1827
  • Probate Records, Vol 4-5, 1903-1921
  • Probate Records, Vol 5-6, 1826-1844
  • Probate Records, Vol 9-10, 1853-1859

Woonsocket

  • Probate Bonds, Vol 1, 1872-1883
  • Probate Files, 1-79
  • Probate Files, 79-161
  • Probate files, 162-265
  • Probate Files, 266-342
  • Probate Files, 343-425
  • Probate Files, 426-526
  • Probate Files, 527-601
  • Probate Index, Abatantuono, Constanza-Brien, Delphine
  • Probate Index, Brien, Delphine-Dulac, Madeleine
  • Probate Index, Dulac, Madeleine-Kappelle, Rosilda
  • Probate Index, Kappelle, Rosilda-McDonald, James H
  • Probate Index, McDonald, James H-Smith, Matilda S
  • Probate Index, Smith, Matilda S-Zydem, Simon
  • Probate Records, Vol 1-2, 1867-1878

Misc from Rhode Island Historical Society:

  • Genealogical Record Book, Vol I
  • Index to Cemetery Records, Wills, Record Books, Vital Records and Historical Events, Vol A [=Briggs Collection]
  • Index to the Probate Records, 1646-1899 [Providence]
  • Minutes and Acts of the General Council, 1667-1753
  • Probate Records and Index, to 1775 [Providence, a handwritten abstract]
  • Wills, Vol A-C [BRIGGS Collection]

WASHINGTON COUNTY [All titles below will be found in a single list for Washington County – this list helps you find the title you want.]

Charlestown

  • Probate Records, Vol 1-3, 1798-1837
  • Probate Records, Vol 4-6, 1837-1878
  • Town Council and Town Meeting Records, 1-67, 1787
  • Town Council and Town Meeting Records, 1788-1800

Exeter

  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 12-14, 1830-1850
  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 1-4, 1743-1786
  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 15-17, 1850-1878
  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 5-8, 1786-1816
  • Council and Probate Records, Vol 9-11, 1816-1830
  • Exeter, Rhode Island, death records and index: 1903-1915

Hopkinton (lucky Hopkinton researchers can bypass all this by using the transcribed records from the Hopkinton Historical Association (free!) – Probate 1757-1850 HERE). 

  • Bonds, Vol 1-3, 1872-1915; Docket Books, Vol 1-2, 1895-1928
  • Probate Index Cards, 1757-1993
  • Probate Records, Vol 11-12, 1862-1876
  • Probate Records, Vol 13-14, 1876-1888
  • Probate Records, Vol 15-16, 1888-1898
  • Probate Records, Vol 1-6, 1751-1841
  • Probate Records, Vol 17-18, 1899-1911
  • Probate Records, Vol 19, 1911-1920
  • Probate Records, Vol 7-10, 1839-1863
  • Town Records, 1743-1920

Narragansett

  • Probate Bonds, Vol 1, 1899-1908; Vol 2, 1908-1915
  • Probate Files, Annie Thompson Case 10-Edward J Davis Case 61, 1800-1915
  • Probate Files, Edward J Davis Case 61-James A Northup, 1800-1915
  • Probate Files, Edward W Watts-Radel Andrew, 1800-1915
  • Probate Files, James A Northup-Edgar W Watts, 1800-1915
  • Probate Files, Rose, Joshua-Wright, Thomas
  • Probate Records and Index, Vol 1 1884-1901; Vol 2 1898-1913; Vol 3 1913-1915

New Shoreham

  • Probate books, vol A-C, 1798-1840
  • Probate Books, Vol H-I, 1902-1923
  • Probate Files Early-1885, Coe, Benjamin T-Littlefield, Nathaniel (Guardian)
  • Probate Files Early-1885, Littlefield, Nathaniel (Guardian)-Rose, John

North Kingstown

  • Death records, vol 5, 1910-1915
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 14-20, 1796-1817
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 21-25, 1817-1829
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 26-29, 1829-1845
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 30-32, 1845-1858
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 33-36, 1858-1871
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 5-8, 1692-1756
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 9-13, 1756-1795
  • Probate Index, 1696-1903
  • Probate Index, Abbott, Marie-Guada, Marlene Iris, 1896-1997
  • Probate Index, Guada, Marlene Iris-Zwolinski, John, 1896-1997
  • Probate Records, Vol 39, 1877-1881; Vol 40, 1881-1885
  • Probate Records, Vol 40, 1885-1886; Vol 41, 1886-1889; Vol 42, 1862-1893; Vol 43, 1894-1895
  • Probate Records, Vol 43-47, 1895-1923
  • Probate Records, Vol 47, 1907-1924; Vol 48, 1918-1924; Vol 49, 1915-1933
  • Probate records: Bonds 1 (1873-1890) ; bonds 2 (1890-1907) ; docket 2 (1896-1930) ; index 1 A – Z (books 1-45) 1696-1907.

Richmond

  • Index of Land Evidence, Vol 2, 1853-1935; Land Deeds, 1896-1900
  • Probate and Town Records, Vol 10-12, 1861-1877
  • Probate and Town Records, Vol 1-3, 1747-1783, 1812-1818
  • Probate and Town Records, Vol 4-6, 1818-1834
  • Probate and Town Records, Vol 7-9, 1834-1861
  • Probate Bonds, 1873-1914

South Kingstown

  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 4-5, 1743-1772
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 6-7, 1772-1854
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 6-7, 1825-1863
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 8-10, 1863-1876
  • Probate and Town Council Records, Vol 8-9, 1854-1886
  • Town Council Records Index, 1704-1917
  • Town Council Records Index, 1705-1943

Westerly

  • Estates, Vol 1, 1872-1888; Vol 2, 1888-1906; Vol 3, 1906-1915; Vol 4, 1915-1916
  • Indexes of Town, Land, Probate, and Vital Records, 1661-1745
  • Probate Files, Drawer 3
  • Probate Files, Drawer 4
  • Probate Files, Drawers 1 and 2
  • Probate Records Index, Abbossa, Rosa-Lysobey, Daniel
  • Probate Records Index, McAndrew, Joseph L-Zippo, Theresa M
  • Probate Records, Vol 2-3, 1811-1841
  • Probate Records, Vol 4, 1832-1852
  • Probate Records, Vol 5-6, 1853-1877
  • Probate Records, Vol 7, 1874-1885; Vol 8, 1882-1889; Vol 9, 1888-1894
  • Town and Council Special Proceedings, Vol 1, 1869-1888; Town Meeting Record, 1669-1694, 1818-1904
  • Town Council and Probate Records, Vol 2-4, 1699-1736
  • Town Council and Probate Records, Vol 5-6, 1745-1787
  • Town Council and Probate Records, Vol 7-8, 1787-1818

A bit more help

A demo of the steps needed to use the record sets, above, can be found here on Randy Seaver’s blog.  Thanks Randy!

There are eight weeks of helpful advice and links:
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8 Weeks to Better Rhode Island Genealogy Research Week 3 – Probate and Cemeteries

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Welcome to Week Two of 8 Weeks to Better Rhode Island Genealogy Research: Census Records.  Census records are an important way to keep track of our ancestors, and they provide one of the few long-term views of our ancestors’ comings and goings.  Finding family in the 1940 federal census, and working back from there, can get almost anyone started in U.S. genealogy.

Federal Census records

The following federal census records should be available for our Rhode Island ancestors (links go to the record set on FamilySearch.org):

These census records are also available on many other genealogy websites and the list is growing all the time. I keep the census headers nearby at all times because they are often unreadable on digital census pages. I managed to add them to my two desktop backgrounds (using Picasa) so I always know where to find them.  

Federal census headers as screen backgrounds. It actually took me a while to accomplish this.

Federal census headers as screen backgrounds. It actually took me a while to accomplish this.

Have you ever thought about which VERSION of the federal census page you are seeing?  I love this article by Rhode Island genealogist Jeffrey Howe: Shortcomings of the 1850 Census by Jeffrey Howe, Rhode Island Roots 24:3/4 (Sep/Dec) p. 259-264.  And this warning from Cherry Fletcher Bamberg:  Navigating the Shoals of the 1810 Census and Beyond, Rhode Island Roots 37:1 (Mar 2011) p. 13-16.  Census pages were copied over, reproduced, filmed, and distributed in many different ways.  It’s important to think about whether we could, perhaps, find a better version.

Quick tip:  If the federal census page you find online is problematic (blurry, too light, too dark, part seems cut off), try accessing another copy of the census through Internet Archive.  Go to www.archive.org.  Search in Books for “census”, county, state, year.  For instance, “census Kent Rhode Island 1880” brings up this screen:

A search on Internet Archive brings up a DIFFERENT copy of the census, from a microfilm which must be paged through. But spped it up by noting the page number in the census page you already have.

A search on Internet Archive brings up a DIFFERENT copy of the census, from a microfilm which must be paged through. But speed up your browsing by noting the page number on the census page you already have.

when you open the reel, you have to browse through it.  Get the page number from the original census you saw, to help you find the right page quickly.  Archive.org doesn’t have everything, though.

Quick tip:  What with bad handwriting, fuzzy images and faulty indexing (and believe me I have won the trifecta on that a few times), you may find on occasion that you need to pull up a location and go PAGE BY PAGE, looking at every name.  There’s a badge for that, I think.  It’s called genealogist.  So, good job!  The links above would work well for that because you can go to BROWSE and narrow it down to the town.

One last thought: because Rhode Island is a small state, I was able to acquire compiled volumes of the federal census years 1790, 1800, 1810, and 1820 for Rhode Island rather cheaply as used books.  These are very handy for seeing a whole town on just a few pages. Particularly for cases where spelling is unpredictable, like Lamphere, it can be better than searching.   1790 is a 1977 reprint by Genealogical Publishing, complete with a fold-out map, of what is a fairly complete transcription [or see a pdf version by the Census Bureau HERE].  1800 is an index by Lowell M. Volkel.  My 1810 and 1820 index books are by Ronald Vern Jackson.

There's nothing like seeing every name for a town on just a few pages in these old compiled census volumes.

There’s nothing like seeing every name for a town on just a few pages in these old compiled census volumes for 1790, 1800, 1810, and 1820.

Rhode Island Census records

Rhode Island enumerated the state population in the “-5” years, between the federal census years.  Some of those survive.  In the colonial era, a few census-like records were made.  To get a more detailed listing of early census records, don’t miss the words of wisdom on the R.I. census records at the Rhode Island Genealogical Society website.

Colonial era census records

The most commonly used Rhode Island colonial census records are for 1774, 1777, and 1782.  A list of sworn freemen, compiled 1747-1755, also serves as a kind of census.

Here are four books often seen in libraries:

  • MacGunnigle, Bruce C. Rhode Island Freemen, 1747-1755. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1982.  Look for additional freemen lists in the Records of the Colony of Rhode Island.
  • Bartlett, John R., “arranged by.” Census of the Inhabitants of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations 1774. 1858. Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1969. [Access on Ancestry.com at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3081 ]
  • Chamberlain, Mildred M. The Rhode Island 1777 Military Census. Baltimore: Clearfield, published under the direction of the R.I. Genealogical Society, 1985. [Access on Ancestry.com at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=49316 ]
  • Holbrook, Jay Mack. Rhode Island 1782 Census. Oxford, Mass.: Holbrook Research Institute, 1979.

There are also newer transcriptions of the 1774 and 1782 census that are more faithful to the originals.  Try finding the better 1782 transcriptions here and the re-transcribed 1774 census records printed, town by town, over a period of several years in Rhode Island Roots, volumes 29-35.

State census records 1790-present

Although not a census, the remaining fragments of the 1798 Direct Tax records (a federal fundraising effort administered by the states) can be very valuable for finding homeowners if your town’s records survive.  This is available at the Rhode Island Historical Society – Robinson Research Center.  Portions of the Newport lists are here at Internet Archive.

Rhode Island state census records are available for 1865, 1875, 1885, 1905, 1915, 1925, and 1935. Each census is quite different.  1895 did not survive (so, that was unlucky).

  • 1865.  Probably my favorite census of all time.  It’s so complete, and the handwriting on the Providence pages is just perfect.  It shows all members of the family, plus a full address, occupation, which school attended, place of birth (state or country, except if Rhode Island, and then the town is given), deaf, dumb, idiot, pauper, or convict, and military service.  This is a unique opportunity to learn important details, so definitely try this one.
My 4x great grandparents, the Lawrences, beautifully enumerated in Providence in 1865.

My 4x great grandparents, the Lawrences, beautifully enumerated in Providence in 1865.

The 1865 census pages can be found on Ancestry.org.  This page will allow you to search most of these Rhode Island State Census yearsNote that 1905 is not in that collection.

  • 1875.  Similar in structure to the 1865 census, and will work from the same Ancestry.com link.  Other than the Ancestry.com copies, the only other place I know to see 1865 and 1875 is at the Rhode Island State Archives.  Possibly, microfilm copies may be held at other libraries.  
  • 1885.  This is a confusing census, recorded in books where Male pages were separate from Female pages and entered in order only by first letter of the last name.  You would expect to find, say, daughters with mothers, but children seem to be separated also, meaning that one family may be on 3 or 4 different pages, with the only connection being the city, ward, district and family numbers, not necessarily searchable.  Have I lost you yet?  This census can be found here on FamilySearch.org, and at the 1865 Ancestry link.
  • 1905.  Another favorite of mine.  This census was recorded on cards, back and front.  The cards for males and females differed slightly.  There is an incredible amount of information on these cards; they provide the ONLY birth date for many of my ancestors.  Here is my gg-grandmother Catherine Ross’ card:
This is the FamilySearch.org screen showing the front of Catherine Ross' card. The transcription provides place of birth of parents for the PREVIOUS card. Click through to the card, then click to the next page, to see the REAL info on the back of Catherine's card.

This is the FamilySearch.org screen showing the front of Catherine Ross’ card. But the transcription provides place of birth of parents for the PREVIOUS card. Click through to the card, then click to the next page, to see the REAL info on the back of Catherine’s card.

Warning:  FamilySearch.org is the only place I know to get the 1905 census online, but each record is indexed with some wrong information.  Place of birth of the two parents is taken from the PREVIOUS card.  To see the real data on the back of your card, click through to view the front more closely, then use the circled arrow in the top corner to click to the NEXT card; that will be the back of your card.  Search here on FamilySearch.org.

  • 1915.  The national origins of parents are recorded as well as some occupational details, on normally laid out pages, in order by street address (the layout is similar to federal census records).   The 1915 census can be found on Ancestry.com as well as this link at Familysearch.org.
  • 1925.  This census is more perfunctory, recording families in order by address, with only minimal information, including marital status, place of birth, and age.  Find this census on Ancestry.com as well as at this link on familysearch.org.
My grandfather Miles Baldwin, captured with his mysterious first wife Mary in the 1925 census at 93 Somerset Street, Providence.

My grandfather Miles Baldwin, captured with his mysterious first wife Mary in the 1925 census at 93 Somerset Street, Providence.

  • 1935.  For this census, the state entered some kind of punch-card era with small cards.  There is some good information on these, including birth date.  Note the cards below, for my grandmother’s uncle Charles Falkenburg.  He was enumerated twice, once in January 1936 and again in May 1936, and the data shows some important differences about his success at finding work in 1935 (many of my relatives were in the fine jewelry industry, which really never existed in Rhode Island again after 1929) and about his place of birth, which I believe really was Germany.  A good example of how the census can make us nuts.
The first example shows Uncle Charlie born in Germany.

The first example shows Uncle Charlie born in Germany.

First example of the 1935 census shows Uncle Charlie born in Germany.

Second example of the 1935 census shows Uncle Charlie born in New York.  I’m really not blaming the census taker, I’m sure he or she wrote what they were told.

Access the 1935 census on familysearch.org and on the link for Ancestry.com.

In closing

These local census records need close examination and study, but they can fill out your ancestor’s story beyond what is seen every ten years in the federal census.  I encourage everyone to explore them fully.

There are eight weeks of helpful advice and links:
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Overview

Over the next few months, I’ll go over the best ideas for finding your ancestors in pre-1900 Rhode Island, and learning their stories.  This is a series of posts combining some things I’ve figured out, some resources I’ve mentioned, and maybe some advice along the way.  If you’re starting out on the hunt for your Rhode Island ancestors, this will help you.

If your genealogy journey hasn’t started at all yet, be sure to consult other sources for a more complete introduction to genealogy while you pursue these tips.  I’ve heard good things about How To Do Everything Genealogy, 3rd edition by George G. Morgan (2015).  Two other books that helped me when I was newer to genealogy are The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried-and-True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors by Marsha Hoffman Rising (2011) and The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 4th Edition by Val D. Greenwood (2017).  I also have a beginner’s post here, 10 Steps for Starting Your Family History.

I also encourage you to be guided by this following excellent article:

And I can recommend the book I co-authored with Maureen Taylor, published in 2018 by the National Genealogical Society, Research in Rhode Island; it is available for sale at the NGS site.

WEEK 1:  Vital Records

I often think vital records are NOT the most valuable records out there.  And here’s why: they are too short.  They don’t tell you enough.  We need records of birth, marriage, and death, but it is too easy to find names that match what we know, see no other records that could be right, and instantly conclude that we have found the right record.  Eek.

A more experienced genealogist would reach the following conclusions:

  • that record is a great clue, to be compared eventually with all other information that can be found.  And so they keep looking.
  • the event they are seeking a record of may, instead, have occurred in another place.
  • SO MANY vital records were not created in Rhode Island (a birth never registered, for instance) or were created in a manner that we cannot find now (a church marriage record that was lost, for instance) that the ABSENCE of records proves nothing; it does not prove that the one record found belongs to our ancestor (see, for instance, James Arnold’s introduction to volume 1 of his Vital Record of Rhode Island for his estimates of recorded events; he contends that in the period of roughly 1790-1850, more than half of all possible vital events were never recorded).
  • in any town, there are OFTEN men and women with the same name and similar age, sometimes cousins, as brothers sometimes each named a baby after their own father or mother.  It would not be rare to find a record that applied to a different person altogether than the one we are seeking.

At the very least, you want to be sure you find all existing vital records. And that cannot entirely be done online.

Map of Barrington-Warren-Bristol area, 1717-1747. Rhode Island towns and boundaries changed many times. From History of Barrington by Bicknell, p. 281.

Map of Barrington-Warren-Bristol area, 1717-1747. Rhode Island towns and boundaries changed many times, meaning you have to think through what town the event was reported to at the time it happened. From History of Barrington by Bicknell, p. 281.

Pre-1850 vital records

QUICK FACT #1  If an event happened before 1636, it did not happen among the English settlers of Rhode Island.  Once settlements started, local law called for vital events to be recorded in the town in which they happened (see, for instance, Records of the Colony of Rhode Island, vol. 1, p. 187, the law on “Marriages”). That practice is still in place.

QUICK FACT #2  Current Rhode Island law restricts access to birth and marriage records that are less than 100 years old, and to death records less than 50 years old, to those who can prove a very limited set of relationships with the principal person on the record. This must be enforced in every government site that provides access to records. Even given the limits on the records you can see, occasionally, your ID as a genealogy society member may also be requested by a town hall before you can see even the older records.

img_0970

This is a typical early Rhode Island record.  The father is mentioned, then the wife, then the children are listed in order of birth, all on the same page. A date of entry is entered after the list and occasionally one or more births are entered after that.  Sometimes deaths of those same children are also entered in the list.  An alternative was for the clerk to enter them separately, soon after the births, but leaving room on the page for later children.

Some commonly used sources:

  • James Newell Arnold published what I might call abstracts of the town vital records, and also various church, newspaper, and military-based vital records, as Vital Record of Rhode Island, volumes 1-21 plus a volume for Rehoboth, Mass.  For marriages, he printed more information (if available) under the groom’s entry; the bride’s entry should be used to find the groom’s entry.  Each volume has a single index up front for quick checking.  IF YOU FIND AN ENTRY of interest, make every effort to check the original book in the town clerk’s office, or on microfilm from the Family History Library.  Arnold’s records are also on Ancestry.com.
  • Alden G. Beaman published some further work on vital records, providing coverage in Newport, Washington, and Kent Counties only.  His Rhode Island Vital Records, New Series. Volumes 1 – 13 were often gleaned from other record types – for instance, gathering death records by looking in cemeteries, or gathering the births of children by reading later probate records for the parents.  Such work is ambitious and valuable, but it’s possible he made assumptions – always use such work as an index, and check out the real record for yourself.  The books are under copyright, so not available online, and no longer for sale as far as I know.  Look in libraries.
  • Clarence A. Torrey spent years in the early 1900’s compiling a bibliography of marriage records gleaned from the many resources at the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library at that time.  I like this edition of his work:  New England Marriages Prior to 1700, vol. 1 – 3 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011).  It is found in many libraries.  Look up your entry and note the abbreviated sources.  Then consult his long list of reference books to see what books or articles he is pointing you to for that couple.  Consult those books.  Although this is not a task you can start at home, unless you own the Torrey books, you CAN sometimes find the books and articles he is pointing to online, in Google Books or Internet Archive, because they may be pre-1923 and no longer hold copyright.
  • You will find that Ancestry.com, Familysearch.org, NEHGS (at americanancestors.org, a members’ site) and other sites have some abstracted birth, marriage and death records.  In other words, they offer few pictures of the page the record was copied from.  These abstracted records may be missing important information or clues that might be gleaned from the original page.
  • MOST Rhode Island town hall vital record books have been microfilmed and are available on film at the R.I. State Archives. Vital records are also increasingly digitized and available, not publicy, but through a local Family History Center or Affiliate Library.  Check the CATALOG in FamilySearch.org.
Clarence A. Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700.

Clarence A. Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700.

Records from 1851 through the legal cutoff for access (1916 for birth & marriage; 1966 for deaths)

While these records were recorded in the towns, the intention was that the town clerk would provide a full copy to the state for their records.  This worked well, or, occasionally, didn’t work well.  But for records after 1851 up to the legal cutoff (or perhaps not quite up to the cutoff), you can ask for the state copy at the state archives.  There is a paper index onsite, and most of the records are available, by town, on microfilm.  If you have trouble navigating the website, try this link to the request form and instructions.

Try this growing set of imaged and indexed records at Familysearch.org.

But there is more – I recently I learned that some of the Rhode Island pages are turning up, unindexed, on FamilySearch.org.  So these don’t come up in a search; you must seek out the record set and page through it.  It’s a lot like using a roll of microfilm, which is essentially what the images are. Christopher C. Child of NEHGS recently wrote a helpful blog post about this, “Browse the Images Online.”  He discussed the difficulties in discerning whether images were available for certain FamilySearch record sets. I was familiar with that problem. But one example he used was from some Providence death records.  It was a wake up call to me, as I realized that although I had been anxiously awaiting more image files on FamilySearch.org, I hadn’t been checking all that much.

Some collections with images on FamilySearch.org

It is not trivial to look for these collections, so here is what I have found so far.  Remember, ONLY a listing with a TINY CAMERA next to it will have images available.  Most others are either library books or microfilm rolls.  You can always order the microfilm.  What a hodge podge these listings, below, are, but it’s exciting to have this much available.

CLICK ON the tiny camera to see the record set. If no tiny camera is there, the material is only available on microfilm or as a printed product.

CLICK ON the tiny camera to see the record set. If no tiny camera is there, the material is only available on microfilm or as a printed product.

Remember, vital records were only recorded in Rhode Island’s (now 39) towns and cities.  FamilySearch lists many villages, because perhaps there’s a book about them.  But those villages will never have vital records. The list below are the images I found in March, 2016 (some towns have none).  Leave a comment if you find more.

Burrillville 

  • Marriage index: book 1A (1846-1900) ; book 1 (1766-1881) ; birth index: book 1 (1766-1881)
  • Death index: book 1 (1766-1881) ; book 1A (1854-1900)
  • Birth index: book 1A, A – P (cont.), 1852-1897
  • Death certificates 1901- 1915 ; birth certificates 1901-1903
  • Births, marriages 1807-1882 (item 2 : includes family records from 1747) Births 1855-1900 (item 3) Marriages 1851-1900 (item 4) Deaths 1855-1900 (item 2)

Central Falls

  • Index to marriages 1850-1889
  • Index to deaths 1850-1948, Deaths Vol. 3 1850-1886
  • Marriages Vol. 3 1850-1889
  • Intentions and returns of marriage, 1896-1897

Coventry

  • Births, marriages, deaths 1702-1870
  • Births, marriages, deaths 1830-1900

Cranston

cumb vr B-2

A vital record index page from Smithfield, via microfilm

Cumberland

  • Births, v. 4 1853-1901

East Greenwich   

  • Births, marriages, deaths vol. 1-3 1707-1865

East Providence

  • Exeter death records and index: 1903-1915
  • Glocester births, marriages, deaths (1726-1815) and deaths (1902-1915)
Hopkinton
Johnston
Lincoln
  • Volume 7, death records, 1901-1915
  • Births, marriages, deaths 1700-1870
Newport

North Kingstown

  • Records of births, marriages and deaths of North Providence and Pawtucket [Rhode Island], 1748-1885; indexes to births, marriages and deaths, 1728-1914
  • Birth records 1871-1900
  • Marriage records 1871-1900
  • Death records 1871-1915
  • Births 1886-1902 and marriages 1885-1902, returns of births and marriages 1900-1902
  • Death records (1872-1945),and returns of death (1900-1921)
  • See also North Providence

Providence

  • Death records — Feb 1911 to Dec 1915
Scituate
Smithfield
  • See Central Falls
Vital Statistics Office, Warwick City Hall.

Vital Statistics Office, Warwick City Hall.

  • Birth, marriage, and death records, 1906-1915
  • Death records 1906-1915

West Warwick

  • Death records 1913-1915.

Westerly

  • Volume 3, death register and index, 1908-1921

Woonsocket

In closing
There are eight weeks of helpful advice and links:
The post you are reading is the property of One Rhode Island Family.  It is located at: http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2016/03/25/8-weeks-better-rhode-island-genealogy-wk1
from The Art of Homemaking, 1898.

If you think this looks like my Rhode Island ancestors, helpfully reporting their vital events as they occurred, you’d be sadly mistaken.  From The Art of Homemaking, 1898.

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